Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Birding Gets Slow Start

 I feel a little like a child counting down the number of "sleeps" till Christmas. It is still a little early, I guess, for some of the best rarities to arrive, but I keep checking every day - closely "eye-balling" anything that looks slightly different.
 What am I finding? Well, plenty - I mean PLENTY - Yellow-rumped Warblers and regular appearances of Golden-crowned Kinglets. There seem to be more Black-capped Chickadees showing up, too. When I see or hear them, I really perk up, because it is often the special warblers or Indigo Buntings that tend to hang out with them.
 The best splash of color among the birds dropping in is provided by the gathering of Baltimore Orioles in Blackhead.
 One of the reasons I am driven to look for the rarities now is that there is a better chance of seeing them in their breeding plumage. This stunner of a male Baltimore Oriole was breathtaking yesterday. I have never seen such color on any species of bird to compare with this one.
 Unfortunately, I could not get close enough to him to get a decent picture. Common sense kept me from trespassing on some one's property. Although, I really wanted to. When he popped out for a second and the sun hit him, he was blazing orange!
 This female (there were three) was tucked in among the branches. When I looked at this shot on my camera, all I could see was the black eye line, a little dark under the beak and a tail that looked more yellow than usual. Of course, my mind rushed to wondering if this could be a Bullock's Oriole. As soon as I don't loaded the image on my computer, it was obvious this was yet another Baltimore Oriole.
Just as I was leaving Blackhead, I caught sight of a raptor circling overhead. Pedal to the metal, I caught up with it in time to get an overhead shot before it circled it way out of sight. This is my first Northern Goshawk in quite a while. The Sharp-shinned Hawks are also showing up regularly. Indeed, there is transition happening out there. I just hope I am in the right place at the right time when a "big" one passes through.

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